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Ethiopia’s PM, Sudanese delegation discuss dam and border issues

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PM Abiy Ahmed receives Sudanese delegation headed by Omer Monis on 16 May 2020 (Ethiopia's PM office photo)May 16, 2020 (ADDIS ABABA) - Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and a visiting Sudanese ministerial delegation discussed the filing of the giant hydropower dam and border issues

A Sudanese delegation headed by Cabinet Affairs Minister Omer Monis took part in a two-day high-level political consultations meeting held in Addis Ababa.

The meeting was co-chaired by Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen and Monis for the Sudanese side.

According to official Ethiopia’s News Agency, Prime Minister Abiy received the Sudanese delegation to discuss issues of mutual concern including the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and border issues.

Abiy posted a tweet after his meeting with the Sudanese delegation hailing the "long-standing strong ties" between our two neighbours.

"I am pleased with the discussion we held on jointly strengthening our economies, on GERD, border issues, as well as the COVID19 challenge," he added.

During a phone call with Abiy on 12 May, Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok insisted on the need to strike a tripartite deal before to start the filling process.

The Sudanese delegation includes Foreign Minister Asma Abdalla, Omer Gamar Eldin State Minister for Foreign Affairs and the head of the intelligence service Jamal Abdel Majid.

According to a partial deal reached in Washington, the $4 billion dam will be filled in stages during the wet season. Also, the operation will begin next July.

However, the three parties have to complete the agreement with technical and legal aspects such as the coordination mechanism, data exchange, dam safety, and environmental and social impacts.

But, Addis Ababa considers some of these matters are exorbitant saying that any risks and secondary effects can be tackled in the future.

Abiy further discussed with the visiting delegation ways to enhance trade and economic relations and mitigating the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

For its part, the Ethiopian foreign ministry said Saturday that the bilateral meeting discussed the recent attacks on Sudanese farmers by some Ethiopian armed men on the border area.

"The meeting also deliberated issues that the two countries can jointly work on to properly address the latest developments along the common border to achieve lasting peace," said the statement.

To this end, the meeting considered revitalizing the various committees and frameworks established earlier to have a follow-up on the border issues, added the Ethiopian foreign ministry.

(ST)

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